This week, both City Pages' Emily Weiss and Heavy Table's Jill Lewis take on Coup d'Etat, the new Uptown mega-restaurant (two floors, 300 seats) from the team behind the North Loop's popular Borough.
Weiss gives the restaurant an almost unqualified rave review, with the only disappointments the "imbalanced" and "sodden" pizzas and the "under-roasted" side of butternut squash. Standouts included the arancini with duck confit ("a dish that has every element you want in an appetizer"), the tuna crudo, the "simple and gorgeous" pastas, and the "outrageously creamy" polenta. Overall:
"There's no need to overthrow anyone, because there's not another restaurant exactly like Coup d'Etat in the Uptown territory. The kitchen produces approachable, comforting, harmonious dishes from start to finish. Service is well-paced and well-informed, and the staff seem to be truly engaged with the food they are serving. Double daters, off-duty waiters, and even Uptown haters take heed: Your nearby late-night dining options just got a lot more compelling."
Lewis, on the other hand, gives the restaurant 2 out of 4 stars, for a "Good" rating. On the food: "While it ranges from serviceable to scrumptious, it certainly isn't revolutionary." She also names the tuna crudo, arancini with duck confit, polenta, and pastas as standouts, as well as the pizza, which she describes as "the best way to begin a meal at Coup d'Etat." Lewis says the pizza has an "excellent crust" and adds the not-wholly-enticing note that it "seems like an upscale, fresher version of the frozen pizzas many of us grew up eating at sleepovers."
The big downside are the desserts, which "don't live up to the standard set by the rest of the meal." Overall:
"So while Coup d'Etat is French by name only, its little bit of this, little bit of that philosophy works more often than it doesn't. Its dessert menu could use an overthrow, but the rest of the menu requires only minor tweaks to be consistently tasty. A revolution it's not, but Coup d'Etat is well-positioned to stake a claim in Uptown as a destination of choice for a wide range of diners."